Get ready to start

Last time, I introduced the essential items needed to start alcohol ink art. If you haven’t read it yet, please check it out here. Now, I’d like to explain the preparations before getting started.

Things to Prepare

  • Alcohol ink
  • Alcohol
  • Synthetic Paper
  • Dryer
  • Dropper & Cup
  • Rubber gloves
  • Musking tape
  • kitchin paper
  • Gavege bag/Sheet

▼Recomend item link is here

Jacquard Alcohol Ink Set
 99% Isopropyl Alcohol
Alcohol Ink Paper
2-In-1 Hair Dryer Comb
Dropper Pipettes

⑥Rubber gloves
⑦Musking tape
⑧Kitchin paper
⑨Gavege bag/Sheet

What’s written in pink is an additional item from the last time (essential items in black). *You can start without them, but having them would enhance your experience!


1.Covering/Protecting the work surface

There is a possibility of alcohol or ink splattering onto unexpected surfaces. If you are concerned about your table getting dirty, we recommend using a plastic sheet or any kind of cover for protection.

I often cut and spread garbage bags, securing them to the table for my work. Using plastic materials like garbage bags is preferable over newspapers or paper since ink can seep through. You can also consider finding a large tray, similar to a basin, at places like Daiso(doller store), and work within it. Choose a method that suits you, and if necessary, take precautions to protect your work area.

And having kitchen paper on hand would be even better. For minor ink splatters, you can easily wipe them away by dampening the kitchen paper with a bit of alcohol. You might wonder, ‘Why not use tissue?’—well, in alcohol ink art, dust is a significant adversary. Tiny fibers come from various sources, and when they stick to the paper during the art process, it can cause fibers to adhere or lead to a rough surface, affecting the appearance. Tissues tend to release fibers easily, so having kitchen paper or something with minimal fiber is recommended.

Once you’re ready…

2. Secure the synthetic paper

Tape the surroundings with masking tape to secure them. Since the paper is prone to flying with the dryer’s air, it’s easier to work with when initially secured. Additionally, when attempting resin finishing, you’ll use masking tape to protect the surroundings, so please have it ready.”

3. Put on rubber gloves

Alcohol ink can be quite stubborn. The ink may get into the spaces between your nails and stain them. If you’re concerned about hand stains or if alcohol doesn’t agree with your skin, please wear rubber gloves. Similarly, when working with resin, your hands can get sticky and messy. It’s advisable to have them on to prevent excessive staining.

If you’re considering trying resin finishing, it might be a good idea to have them ready in advance.

4. Ready for alcohol

The role of alcohol is to extend the ink, serving as a lubricant. Please use alcohol with a concentration of 90% or higher for art purposes. The alcohol used for disinfection has a lower concentration, and the ink does not spread well. Using a higher concentration enhances color vividness, making it easier to create art.

When using cups and syringes
The amount of alcohol used at once varies for each person, but I prefer to pour in only the amount needed for a small cup and refill it as it runs out. (You can use any cup you have at home.) Since alcohol is volatile and has a scent, I prefer adding it gradually. Once you’ve poured alcohol into the cup, use a syringe to spread the alcohol.

For those using bottles with needles, like this product, you may not need to refill as often. If it allows for precise control, you might not even need to use a syringe! Since everyone has different preferences for what works best, I hope you find something that suits your workflow. Now, with the preparations done up to this point, let’s move on to some additional tips

5. Ventilation and precautions during work

“Open the windows for ventilation.”

Alcohol ink art comes with the scent of the ink and the sharp, pungent smell of alcohol. Be sure to prioritize ventilation.

In Japan, artists often use anhydrous ethanol (95%) for art. While it does have a noticeable alcohol smell, it’s generally bearable, and working with proper ventilation is sufficient.

However, in the United States, you don’t come across it as much. Even with 70% alcohol, you might see the label ‘Isopropyl Alcohol.’ Isopropyl alcohol has a very strong and harsh smell. Inhaling it directly is not good for your health.

However, using 99% isopropyl alcohol provides excellent ink spread and vibrant colors, so I also use it. A gas mask becomes an essential item for a comfortable art experience. The items you need to prepare can vary based on what you use, but be sure to at least ventilate adequately while working to enjoy art comfortably.

Please be sure to take care not to feel unwell.

Precautions for Using IPA (Isopropyl Alcohol)

[su_box title=”Warning” box_color=”#f8a3a3″]

  • Highly flammable liquid and vapor
  • Strong eye irritant
  • Suspected risk of adverse effects on reproductive ability or fetus
  • Organ damage (central nervous system, systemic toxicity)
  • Risk of respiratory irritation
  • Respiratory impairment due to prolonged repeated exposure (blood system)


It contains very frightening information, so I hesitated to use it. However, seeing others use it, I decided to give it a try. Normally, it’s diluted for use, but in art, I use it as is.

So, I want to emphasize again, please ensure proper ventilation and wear a gas mask or rubber gloves.

※The use of this alcohol is at your own risk. If I find an alcohol suitable for art that allows for creating without a mask, I’ll introduce it to you again!


  • Protect your work area with materials that won’t absorb ink, like non-porous surfaces.
  • Use kitchen paper or similar materials with minimal fiber shedding.
  • Wear rubber gloves to avoid direct contact with the ink.
  • Ensure proper ventilation while working.
  • Consider using a gas mask when working with high-concentration IPA
  • Preparing tools like cups, syringes, or bottles with needles can enhance precision
  • When using high-concentration alcohol like IPA, be cautious of its strong smell and potential health effects.
  • Follow safety precautions and warnings on alcohol packaging
  • Enjoy the art-making process and have fun experimenting with ink and air manipulation!

Preparations are complete. Now, the stage is set to begin your art journey. Next, let’s dive into the world of manipulating air and enjoying the spread of ink! Have fun!